A couple of years ago, a startup called Juicero released a $400 juicer that used a proprietary five-step process to turn its own unnecessarily expensive juice packs into, uh, an unnecessarily expensive glass of juice. But in the internet’s version of a Hans Christian Andersen story, a Bloomberg reporter learned that you could get the same juice without the pricey machine: all you needed were your own two hands to squeeze one of those juice pouches into a glass. Fast forward a few months, and Juicero has plummeted from Silicon Valley to the shelves of a southern California Goodwill.
It seems like it would be hard to top Juicero when it comes to products that didn’t need to exist, under any circumstances, but here we are. According to Mashable, a designer named Scott Amron has created a thing that he says helps to further eliminate our collective dependence on single-use plastics, like coffee stirrers. His Stircle is a small plastic (!!!) circle that you’d place your cup into, and it will immediately start rotating to blend whatever combination of milk, cream, or sugar you’ve dumped into your coffee.
Amron says that the Stircle could successfully stir 50,000 cups of coffee and “add only 10 cents to electricity bills, with the added benefit of zero waste.” Although this “awesome coffee stirring device” has recently been re-shared on Twitter, the same thing was actually invented almost 3,000 years ago.
It’s called a spoon.
According to archaeologists, some of the earliest spoons could’ve been used in Egyptian religious ceremonies around 1,000 BC. Bronze and silver spoons were used by the wealthiest citizens in the Greek and Roman empires, and a spoon was included on the list of items found in King Edward I’s wardrobe in 1259 AD. Unbelievably, even some of the earliest examples of this utensil could’ve been used for stirring soups, hot beverages, or employed as a method of “spooning” food and beverages from whatever plate or container was being used to the diner’s mouth. INNOVATION!
Look, we’re all for changing consumer behavior to give this planet any chance of outliving Keith Richards and Dockers-brand khakis, but this seems altogether unnecessary. Aren’t we all carrying metal straws around with us anyway? STIR YOUR COFFEE WITH THAT! Our collective efforts could be put to better use if we worked on other problems—real problems—that can’t be resolved with things we already have.
All that said, I’ll probably buy the first Stircle I find at Goodwill. It’ll look great beside the Juicero.